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Extremely Rare 1970 "Topps Teamates" Employee Complete Set Minus 1 (17/18) Including Woody Gelman!
Starting Bid - $300, Sold For - $6,518
One of the rarest sets ever produced by the Topps Company is the 1970 "Topps Teamates [sic]" set. This set was produced only for the employees of the Topps Company and was never distributed to the public, which explains its absolutely insane rarity today. One could go a lifetime without seeing a single card, let alone a near set! Offered are seventeen of the eighteen cards in the set (missing only #18). Each of the cards (approximately 4-5/8 by 2-1/2 inches) is designed in a horizontal format with a black-and-white image featuring staff members from one of Topps' many departments. The key card of the set pictures the Product Development team (#15), which includes the legendary hobby pioneer Woody Gelman! (He is pictured second from the right with his arms folded.) Len Brown, another Topps legend, is also featured on this card. Another interesting card in the set is that of the Art Department (#4). One of the Art Department's responsibilities was to locate printing errors, yet this is the only card in the set that has a printing error (located practically dead center above the head of one of the staff members seated in the front row). This may have been done on purpose as an inside joke among the employees. It is also possible that the same person responsible for misspelling "teammates" also had something to do with the printing fault. There are clearly many inside jokes that are incorporated in the set. Some easy to identify, if not to fully understand; others perhaps are not so easy for us to see. The entire set was certainly produced in the spirit of good fun. The set also presents a rare, perhaps unique, look at the behind-the scenes atmosphere and personalities that represented the Topps Gum Company during one of its most exciting eras. These cards scream out "1970" in all ways, including text, design, and, yes. . . . even fashion. We can't help but think of the modern television show The Office just looking at them. The back of the cards lists the names of persons from the pictured department. The printed slogan "Topps Grow Power '70" is designed in the shape of a tree on the right portion of the reverse. This is the first complete set (minus 1) of this unbelievably rare, historically significant, and highly desirable Topps issue that we have ever offered! The set grades Nr/Mt overall. Total: 17 cards. Reserve $300. Estimate $500++. SOLD FOR $6,518
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